Web development is a complex process. It’s more than just programming—it’s a constant series of creating, designing, debugging, and maintaining a website for years. There are several tools available to help developers streamline this process, such as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Read on to discover the best IDE for web development and how it can help you create incredible websites.
What Is an IDE?
Integrated Development Environments encompass all of the tasks involved in programming. The simplest IDEs offer you the ability to program and test code, but the more complex ones can greatly reduce the amount of work that goes into programming.
You can edit and write code in any text editor. However, doing so limits you in a long list of ways. An IDE allows you to do so much more with code and you can even test and debug the code before releasing your product out to the world.
Below is a list of some of the features the best IDEs have to offer web developers.
Code Editor: One of the basic features of an IDE is a code editor. IDEs enhance and sometimes simplify the process of writing and editing code, which reduces the number of errors that may come up when you’re programming.
Debugger: Even the most experienced programmer comes across bugs. It is a difficult and frustrating task trying to find bugs in a program and fix them. Integrated Development Environments have a debugger built into the application, which helps with this process.
Compiler: A compiler transforms code into an executable program. For example, if you were to design a homepage with code, the compiler would show you what the homepage would look like when someone visited your website. This allows you to get a visual representation of your website and how it works.
Graphical User Interface (GUI): Unlike text editors, many IDEs come with a GUI to make your tasks more straightforward and easier to understand. These graphics may include buttons, a menu, visual cues for compiling and executing code, and more. This helps with managing, designing, and creating code in a more organized manner.
Class Hierarchy: Some Integrated Development Environments have a hierarchy diagram to help with visualizing the structure of code. This is usually a feature in IDEs that support object-oriented programming.
These are only a few features commonly associated with IDEs. Depending on the one you choose, there may be other features within them to make programming easier.
Choosing the Best IDE for Web Development
Not all IDEs are equal and many of them have different features not found in others. It’s important to determine what you want to do with your IDE before choosing the one that’s right for you. Below is a list of things to consider when choosing an IDE.
Language Support: Integrated Development Environments support different programming languages. Keep in mind which programming language you plan to use before settling on the best IDE for you.
Cost: Most Integrated Development Environments are free of charge, which means you won’t have to pay any upfront costs. However, the addons and modules that come with IDEs can get expensive. Look into what additional features you want to add to your IDE and evaluate the cost before choosing one.
Speed and Stability: Integrated Development Environments have to run extensive amounts of code regularly. You want to make sure you choose one that runs smoothly without hindering your computer. Also, look into how often the Integrated Development Environment crashes.
Libraries and Packages: The resources available outside of an Integrated Development Environment are as significant as an IDE itself. With more support, you have an easier time developing and programming code. Look into what packages and libraries are available for popular IDEs to help with your decision.
Simplicity and Ease of Use: A good Integrated Development Environment should allow you to get right into programming without any issues. The best IDEs are easy to use and have features that you can easily implement into your design process. Keep an eye out for IDEs that seem overly complex and difficult to utilize.
The Best IDE for Web Development
There are dozens of Integrated Development Environments out there and they vary wildly. However, among programmers, some standouts are highly preferred for web developers, both beginners and professionals.
Below is a list of the best IDEs currently available for web design and development.
Developed by Microsoft, Visual Studio is one of the most popular Integrated Development Environments out there. Not just for web development, people use Visual Studio for web applications, software development, and game design.
Visual Studio supports live collaboration. It also supports Python, Node.js, Unity, C++, and ASP.NET.
Atom works for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
It also has Mercurial, GitHub, Git, and various other integrations.
Conclusion: Choose the Right IDE
Make sure you consider all features of your potential IDE before making a decision. Also, remember costs can add up later on once you begin accounting for addons and modules. Most importantly, make sure the one you choose is compatible with your go-to programming language.
The IDEs listed above are among the best IDEs available to programmers who want to get into web development. With auto-completion features, support for multiple programming languages, and more, any of these IDEs would be a great choice for web development.